Is it better to enter WWE Royal Rumble early or late? Jim Duggan shares his thoughts

The WWE wrestler Hacksaw Jim Duggan, winner of the inaugural Royal Rumble in 1988, explains that it’s all about longevity, and most wrestlers aim straight for the corner.

Hacksaw was placed 13th out of 20 competitors in the ring. After defeating One Man Gang, hacksaw became the first winner of the Royal Rumble, a 450lb, 6flt wrestler. Hacksaw advises rookie wrestlers to be aggressive, strong, and quick based on his experience in the ring.

In an exclusive interview with the Betway Insider, the retired wrestler has some advice for budding wrestlers. “Try to stay away from people. The less time you’re in contact with people, the longer you’re in the ring.”

The WWE Hall of Famer is sharing tips on how to win the Royal Rumble. “The whole thing is about longevity. That’s why when you watch the Royal Rumble, everyone goes straight to the corners. That’s a safe place.”

The Royal Rumble is all about the first place finisher. According to statistics, the majority of the winners entered the ring 30th or higher. Only three wrestlers who started in the first position have won the event thus far.

“Luck of the draw has a lot to do with it as well. It’s always better to come in later. You’re fresher than the guys who’ve been out there longer. For the first five guys, that’s a long time in the ring.”

Hacksaw Jim Duggan went on to describe how this PPV event differs from singles bouts. “Out there, it’s like the Wild West,” he adds.

The Royal Rumble is the most interesting event for wrestling fans because of its immense drama, mayhem, and unpredictability. “You had a unique group of guys back then. I think overall the talent nowadays is much better in terms of athletic ability, but my generation of guys were much more creative, we were much more willing to try something new.”

One of Duggan’s most cherished wrestling achievements is winning the Royal Rumble. “Nobody was more surprised in that whole building than me after I won the thing. I was never world champion, I was never tag team champion, I was never an intercontinental champion, I was lucky to win a match but that was my character.” Duggan recalls of his reaction to his first-ever win.

When asked about his greatest moment in WWE, he considers the 1988 win to be the second-best moment of his career, behind his bout with Andre the Giant.

“Probably number two. The Royal Rumble was obviously the biggest feather [in my cap], but as a kid, I grew up in upstate New York in a small town. I had a loving, supporting family and my dad would bring me to New York City, about 250 miles away, to see the circus at Madison Square Garden. As an adult, you can only imagine the thrill to bring my dad down to New York City, to Madison Square Garden, and see Hacksaw Jim Duggan versus Andre the Giant on the marquee. My dad was my best man at my wedding, the best man I’ve ever met, and that was a thrill that will stay with me to the day I die.”

Duggan admits that a superstar’s stamina will hold up better if they enter the Rumble in the second half of the contest. However, regardless of when you entered or what happened earlier in the day, the adrenaline rush you get when you exit outweighs everything.


The wrestler is not known for putting on attractive displays, but he works hard. Duggan describes himself as a brawler rather than a wrestler.

Duggan has returned to the WWE ring twice since his first victory, in 2009 and 2012. He pitted himself against old foes such as Dusty and even their children.

Duggan was 58 years old when he returned in 2012, when he was beaten by Cody Rhodes. He describes his experience as the oldest wrestler in the ring alongside fighters over 20 years his junior, saying, “Everything about the Royal Rumble in 2012 was harder. I wasn’t in my prime anymore, and I was worried about how I looked physically. It’s a show that millions of people watch, so you have all that anxiety. Multiply that by 10 when they throw you into a pay-per-view and add another five when people know you’re Hacksaw and you won the first one.”

However, none of it matters once you’re in the ring and the adrenaline kicks in.

“Stepping through that curtain, that place was hoo-ing and yo-ing and USA-ing and I could have taken on Andre the Giant again man, I was 10ft tall when I hit that ring,” adds Hacksaw.

The wrestler, who is now 68 years old, is undergoing cancer treatment for the second time. Duggan’s health has put an end any thoughts of his return. However, the Royal Rumble’s ultimate champion, Hacksaw Jim, offers some advice to budding wrestlers and current year participants.

“In a Royal Rumble, anything goes. Anybody has a chance at the Royal Rumble, anybody can win it, and it can change people’s careers like it changed mine. Go in there, stand up, and be counted. Go for it, never give up, never surrender.”

Discover more from Wrestling-Online.com

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Stories you might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you


Digital version of Ronda Rousey’s book Our Fight down to $3.99 today only

The electronic version of Ronda Rousey's Our Fight book is on sale for $3.99 for today only. Released in April...

Dalton Castle out for the rest of 2024

Dalton Castle has been removed from the Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view for next week due to...

NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji to do Japanese commentary at SummerSlam

Pro Wrestling NOAH's Naomichi Marufuji will be serving as a special guest commentator on the Japanese feed of WWE...

Discover more from Wrestling-Online.com

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading